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Butter Bean and Bacon Soup

This soup might sound like an unusual combination of ingredients, but it has a lovely spicy kick that complements the sweetness of the carrots. The addition of a small amount of bacon goes a long way in the flavour stakes and blitzing the butter beans gives a fantastic velvety finish.

Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 450g (1lb) carrots, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 50g (2oz) rindless smoked streaky bacon, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp freshly grated root ginger
  • 1 tbsp mild curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 x 400g (14oz) can of butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1.2 litres (2 pints) vegetable stock
  • 200ml (7fl oz) semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley sea salt and
  • freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Heat the rapeseed oil in a pan over a medium heat. Sauté the carrots, onion, bacon, garlic and ginger for 10 minutes, until softened and just beginning to catch a little colour. Tip in the curry powder and turmeric and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring.
  2. Stir in the beans, stock, milk and tomato purée. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15–20 minutes, until the carrots are completely tender.
  3. Season to taste and stir in the parsley, then remove a ladleful of the chunky ingredients to reserve  as a garnish, if liked. Blitz the rest of the soup with a hand blender until smooth. Ladle into warmed bowls and add a spoonful of the reserved ingredients to serve.